Many people I come across get frustrated with the concept and practical implementation of meetings in their respective business….. :
· “we have too many meetings”
· “ we don’t meet regularly enough”
· “ we have a chat but don’t agree on an action – nothing ever happens”
· ” if we do agree actions, often there is no follow up, so things often don’t get done”
I’m not an advocate for meetings that generate bureaucracy and I am definitely not an advocate for talk fests. That said I do encourage meetings that are well structured, have defined actions assigned (with timeframes) and are disciplined around the outputs and follow up that can generate value from those meetings.
1. Communication, discussion, monitoring progress and generating ideas are all primary reasons for meeting with your management team, function specific teams or your entire workforce.
2. Well managed meetings will assist in setting expectations that you and your team can monitor and measure progress against. They also give people a great opportunity to share ideas and views which may assist when there is a big decision to be made.
3. Including relevant team members in meetings allows for people to have their say on a particular subject….this assists in their buy in and acceptance of how and why decisions are made and creates a smoother implementation of those decisions.
4. Meetings can also encourage open communication which will allow for more positive working relationships.
5. Management teams in particular should meet frequently and be disciplined in why they are meeting, what outcomes they want to establish from each meeting and determine assigned actions that are consistently monitored and therefore implemented. This creates value!
Useful tips for holding team meetings:
· Set a time and date early and stick to it. Regular last minute changes, postponements or cancellations just mean that your people will inevitably question the meeting’s importance
· Ensure you have a venue booked including necessary equipment. Being disorganised will lead to question marks over your organisational and management skills…
· Ensure the right people are invited and attend. Unless someone is going to contribute to the meeting, should they be there?
· Ensure those people invited to the meeting understand its purpose and provide them with any information necessary to prepare for the meeting effectively. Circulate an agenda if possible
· Manage interactions between attendees, ensuring people can have their say, that timeframes are adhered to and that any potential conflict or debate is professional and well controlled
· For each subject, determine and agree suitable actions, assign them to the right person, make them time bound and ensure you follow up on implementation (possibly at the next meeting)
· Ensure minutes are taken, review to ensure they are accurate and distribute in a timely fashion. This will provide a good overview of discussion points and influence whether things actually get done as a result of the meeting
DON’T JUST MEET, ENSURE THINGS GET DONE AS A RESULT OF THE MEETING – THAT IS THE VALUE!!